Veronica Lin ’15 Selected for North American Association for Environmental Education’s 30 Under 30

Veronica Lin walks through a forest
Image credit: Veronica Lin ’15
September 27, 2019

Veronica Lin ’15 has been chosen by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) for its 30 Under 30 program for 2019. 

The NAAEE, which started the 30 Under 30 program in 2016, aims to increase environmental literacy and civic engagement. The 2019 honorees include teachers, conservationists, and researchers from 16 countries; they will join a network of 120 previous honorees and have access to professional development programs sponsored by the organization.

At Wellesley, where Lin majored in computer science and economics, she studied and designed technologies to engage young people in learning through Wellesley’s Human Computer Interaction Lab. The summer after she graduated, she spent 10 weeks in Cape Town, South Africa, with ORT SA CAPE, an organization that offers robotics and reading programs for children along with courses for teachers in impoverished schools and communities. 

Today, Lin is a PhD candidate in Learning Sciences and Technology Design at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education. “I work at the nexus of learning sciences, computer science, and environmental education,” she said. 

She is also involved with the Summen Project, focusing on how people learn, communicate, and make decisions about redwoods trees, ecosystems, and related practices, in light of shifting coastal fog conditions. Another project she works on involves developing an augmented reality application centered on climate change education.

A native of Boulder, Colo., Lin, nominated for the NAAEE distinction by Nicole Ardoin, an associate professor at Stanford, was selected from a field of 175 other candidates. She reflected on her early appreciation for the environment, “My fondest childhood memories are from our backyard, digging worms with my older brother, helping my mom pick strawberries, and tracking the size of our cucumbers,” Lin said. She also liked working with kids; her first job, which she got at 14, was teaching younger children to swim. 

While Lin said she is undecided about her career plans after Stanford, she is “definitely considering the possibility of doing user research experience in industry but I also really enjoy teaching and mentoring, which draws me toward the academic path.” And in the meantime, she will attend the NAAEE conference next month and join conservationists, educators, researchers, and entrepreneurs on panel discussions and seminars. 

“I’m gearing up for a lot of energizing sessions and conversation,” she said. “The work I do is inherently interdisciplinary, and being part of the NAAEE 30 under 30 network gives me a pathway to potential collaborations.”

Photo: Veronica Lin ’15 hikes in Canada’s Banff National Park.